Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist

Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist

Growth Removal

Growths may show up on the skin at any point in your life, and can be benign or serious in nature. They may appear alone or in groups. For example, most moles are acquired during the first 25 years of life, normally. Once the average person reaches the age of 25, their usual total mole count falls anywhere between 10 and 40 body-wide. It is important to note that growths may change over time, and new growths may appear as well. Typical changes you may find within the borders of the average growth include: color changes, hair growth, and raising from the skin. Some growths may even disappear over time. However, some changes to growths can be a warning sign of something more serious, while other growths are merely cosmetic. Whatever your needs are for removing a growth, here’s what you need to know.

What is a growth?

Skin growths are typically tiny and harmless pouches that show up on the outer layer of the skin. They are often referred to as skin tags. However, there are other blemishes found on the skin that may need to be removed as well. Skin tags and moles are generally removed for cosmetic reasons, whereas cancerous growths, such as melanoma, are removed to mitigate the risks associated with skin cancer. There are actually a few different types of skin cancer; and each has a different behavior and look. Actinic Keratoses (AK) appear as dry scaly patches or spots that are considered precancerous growths, and can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most standard type of skin cancer that occurs in America. It typically appears as a flesh colored bump that resembles a pearl. Early diagnosis is important with BCC as it can spread to adjoining tissue rapidly. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) often appears as a red and hard bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and reopens. It can grow very deep into the skin and cause some noticeable deformity. Lastly, Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It appears as a new dark spot on the skin (usually brown in color) and early diagnosis is very important to reduce risk of fatality as much as possible.

Why remove a growth?

As we mentioned earlier, skin growths can range from benign to serious. There are reasons to remove both types regardless of their corresponding risk, however. If you have a growth that is appears and behaves strangely, it is important that you contact your dermatologist right away. Early detection is important when it comes to mitigating the risk of potential cancerous growths. Growth removal is not strictly a life-saving operation however. Many patients choose to have harmless skin tags and moles removed for cosmetic or practical reasons as well. For instance, skin tags sometimes may form on an inconvenient surface, such as an eyelid, making it difficult to blink while also being cosmetically frustrating to the patient. There are a number of reasons to remove a growth.

Why should I see a dermatologist to remove a growth?

Dermatologists are the leading experts in the field of skin medicine. These days, you can find all sorts of home remedies and do-it-yourself kits online for a number of different conditions. These “miracle cures” are not to be substituted for the expertise of a real dermatologist equipped with the proper tools, however. They also tend to be much less effective. The removal of growths is also a delicate operation that can result in pain, scars and even infection if performed improperly. Don’t leave it to chance. Leave your skin care in the hands of a trusted professional, so that you are safe and your treatments are a success! Call 305-735-9474 or click here to schedule a call today!